Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi is expected to arrive in the Gaza Strip by Monday at the latest to distribute funds to impoverished Palestinian families, an official in Doha’s Gaza Reconstruction Committee said.
Emadi, who frequently liaises with Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and Israel about Gaza, has not visited the coastal enclave since early March.
“Emadi most likely will arrive late tonight, but he may come tomorrow morning,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Times of Israel on Sunday. “As of now, we only know that he is planning to oversee the distribution of funds to poor families. We will not know any other details until after he arrives.”
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Defense Ministry body responsible for liaising with the Palestinians, did not immediately respond when asked whether Emadi would arrive on Sunday or Monday to supervise the handouts.
The Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Sunday that Emadi was slated to enter Gaza within the coming two days to distribute a $30 million Qatari grant to the Hamas terror group. Other than referencing Gaza rulers Hamas, the report did not specify how and to whom the funds would be distributed.
United Nations Special Coordinator to the Middle East peace process Nickolay Mladenov is planning to travel to Gaza on Monday to visit UN-supervised, Qatari-funded cash-for-work programs and a solar energy-related project at a hospital, a UN source said in a phone call on Sunday.
A number of Palestinians in Gaza recently started temporary jobs as a part of the cash-for-work programs.
Mladenov will be visiting the Nasser hospital in Khan Younis, a city in southern Gaza, where he will deliver a statement to reporters, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said on Sunday.
Last week, a senior Gaza-based official said that Israel consented to the transfer of Qatari funds into the Strip within a week geared toward grants for impoverished families, salaries of Hamas-appointed civil servants and the UN-supervised projects.
“These are all matters that Israel agreed to two months ago, but evaded implementing,” the official, who is a senior politician, told The Times of Israel at the time, adding that the Jewish state also agreed to the continued entry of Qatari-bought fuel into the Strip.
The official said Israel approved the transfer of funds as a part of a ceasefire agreement with terror groups in Gaza, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
After two days of intense fighting earlier in May in which terror groups launched over 650 rockets at southern Israel and the Israel Defense Forces carried out more than 300 retaliatory strikes throughout Gaza, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad announced that Egypt and other international parties had successfully brokered a truce deal.
Over the past several months, Israel has at times permitted Qatar to distribute funds to poor families as well as Hamas-appointed government employees. It has also allowed for Qatari-purchased fuel to enter Gaza since October 2018 to power the Strip’s sole power plant.
The same Palestinian official, however, said on Sunday he was now uncertain whether the funds would be given to the Hamas-appointed government employees.
“The funds will go to poor families and cash-for-work projects, but it is now unclear whether they will contribute to the employee salaries,” he said in a phone call.